Message from Executive Director

自治体国際化協会(CLAIR)シンガポール事務所長 橋本 憲次郎

I am Kenjiro Hashimoto, the newly-appointed Executive Director of CLAIR Singapore.

Seconded from Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, this is my first overseas assignment and I really look forward to meet and interact witKenjiro Hashimotoh everyone, and experience the diverse cultures and histories as well as taste the assortment of culinary delights available in this region.

CLAIR Singapore’s scope of activities covers the 10 countries in ASEAN and India, where we have long been engaging in the work of connecting Japanese local governments with their foreign counterparts in these countries across various aspects.

The ASEAN and India region is particularly garnering a lot of attention from Japanese local governments. A remarkable economic growth and the region’s youthful and vibrant society are among the many reasons for this heightening interest, as evidenced by the numerous Japanese companies that have made their foray into these markets. I can still remember that back in my university days, having missed experiencing the peak period of Japan’s rapid economic growth, I was spurred to embark on an unforgettable, albeit tight-budget trip across Malaysia, Indonesia and India, as I sought to encounter firsthand the social vitality of a young and fast-growing Asia. Today, more than 20 years on, the amount of development and transformation that has taken place in ASEAN and India is nothing short of remarkable, and one of the most significant changes is perhaps the tremendous growth in the number of ASEAN and Indian tourists visiting Japan ove these past few years.

In a similar manner, the building of international ties is also a bidirectional endeavor. While Japan has a lot to learn from ASEAN and India, it is important for us to be acutely aware of how other countries view Japan at the same time, to be able to effectively link and bring Japanese, ASEAN and Indian local governments together to further strengthen our friendly relations.

Here at CLAIR Singapore, we have many energetic and dedicated staff who are seconded from their respective local governments in Japan. As a joint organization of local governments, we shall continue to strive through teamwork to stay relevant to our parent institutions in Japan as well as to our foreign counterparts. Should you have any enquiries, suggestions or feedback towards our office’s activities or programs, please do not hesitate to contact us. I sincerely hope to have your continuous support and cooperation!

Executive Director, CLAIR Singapore